A New Andean Typology

John Hill
14. July 2015
Photo: Courtesy of Architectural Review

Architectural Review considers self-taught, Bolivian architect Freddy Mamani Silvestre's many buildings as a new typology: they combine retail, party halls, apartments, and a roofop house for the owner.

Silvestre's colorful – and some would argue tacky – buildings (60 to date in his hometown of El Alto) has received a fair amount of attention recently. In addition to the short film below, Architectural Review explores the mixed-use typology indigenous to El Alto, Bolivia, in an article on its website. An excerpt:

Far from the vocabulary of modern architecture, the decoration of Mamani’s work is an assemblage of a variety of motifs inspired by the Tiwanaku culture from which the Aymara descend, such as the Andean Cross or zoomorphic figures, reduced to their geometrical elements. Combined in stepped and gabled elevations, they result in intriguing combinations further enhanced by the use of reflective glass and strident colors.

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